I’ve had a garden for two summers now. Okay, that’s not completely the truth. I’ve attempted gardening for three years. I didn’t know Laranda and her magical green thumb, and while my mom grows beautiful flowers, she’s never grown for food.
The first year was awful, and I almost gave up. Maybe if I hadn’t forced my husband to build me $120 worth of raised beds for what would result in a small basket of beans, a short, fat, dirty carrot, some half grown tomatoes, and a handful of jalapenos, anyways. After my “harvest”, I decided to plant some strawberry plants, pull an Elsa and “let it go.”
Eventually my little raised bed will become an entire patch. Until then I’ve tried again with the carrots, onions, and herbs. It’s been delicious fun to send my daycare Littles out to pick a snack straight out of the garden. Part of what I loved about breastfeeding was knowing I was making and growing nourishing food for my baby … and to me, gardening is an extension of that.
Except for the weeds
Like I need another task in the list of things I do every day. So, I put off weeding. The ground is too dry, so the roots don’t come out. There’s too many. I’ll wait until there are more. I can never complete a task because God knows someone is going to meltdown about something, soon, and I’ll have to hug or scold or band aid a boo boo with dirt in my nails.
But today, I realized that I put it off for too long. So I watered the garden, and after the kids were down for nap, I snuck outside, sat next to the raised bed that I loved, the raised bed that vexed me, and I began pulling weeds.
And something about taking my time, watching them slowly slide out of the dirt, watching the little rows of carrots become little rows of carrots, it soothed me.
I thought about my current worry.
I may not act like it, but I worry- a lot. I worry about my marriage, if I’m paying enough attention to my husband. I worry about whether I’m doing enough for my kids. Are they learning enough? Are they meeting milestones correctly? Is she ready for school? Did I wait too long to potty train him? Am I stimulating my daycare kids enough?
The worry is different than my mom guilt. It doesn’t eat at me… it’s more of a way of looking over my life. It’s a way of evaluating myself as a wife, a mom, a friend, and finding a way to do better, to be better.
As I weeded, I watched my worries pull away from me as easily as the roots of those weeds.
I let it go. I made a plan for sharpening our lives. I came up with articles to write, ways to encourage my son to potty, and thought about how to tackle the newest big change in our lives- my husband’s change in his work schedule (and being solo at bedtime.)
It made me realize, that sometimes the thing we put off, the thing that we most don’t want to do… is because its the thing we need to be doing the most. Who would have thought that weeding a garden would become a form of self care?
I hate doing dishes and mopping the floor, but damnit if I don’t love the way I feel when I look at my sparkling clean kitchen. I put off teaching my daughter how to tie her shoes, because I didn’t want to deal with her inevitable frustration, but it turned out to be a great bonding moment for us.
So I’ve decided that my form of self care this week is to do the hard thing.
What hard things do you put off? Do you feel better after? How do you handle your worry and stressors? What do you use as an outlet? Chat in the comments, mamas; I want to hear!